by Chris Familton
Messrs Peno and Salmon reconvene for their third record under The Darling Downs moniker and as befits their general proclivity for exploring different musical forms they’ve gone and taken another sonic diversion, this time into 60s-tinged folk. Of course them being them they don’t restrict themselves to just folk. There are strains of gospel and country that weave in and out of focus across the eleven tracks making the album a warm and rewarding listen. There are none of the caustic edges that Kim Salmon brings to some of his music nor Ron Peno’s grand eloquence. Instead they take a song like the Townes Van Zandt invoking Down To The River and frame it with acoustic guitar, banjo and primitive percussion with the vocals flipping from intimate intonation to layered chorus. It’s a simple song but not as simple as it appears. The quality of the album lies in the songwriting and equally the arrangements and subsequent atmosphere that is created. It feels suitably traditional, organic and full of life; even when the duo hit the sad & tearful button on I Don’t Care.
this review was first published in VICE